Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ
Point to Ponder: There are no shortcuts to maturity.
Verse to Remember: “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.” — Philippians 1:6 (NCV)
Question to Consider: In what area of my spiritual growth do I need to be more patient and persistent?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 28 of Rick Warren‘s Purpose-Driven Life* including why God is never late, but is rarely early…
I think Rick makes an excellent point that “While we worry about how fast
we grow, God is concerned about how strong
we grow.” As I was telling a friend yesterday at breakfast, much of my supposed desire for spiritual growth is really just an attempt to escape my own shame and guilt. The reality is that drawing nearer to God actually increases
my awareness of how messed up I truly am — even though in many ways I am becoming more like God! Genuine maturity is not a superficial sense of feeling good about ourselves, but about having a deep, transformative experience of God’s grace — which means taking the time to go deep. As Rick says, “You can only give God as much of you as you understand at that moment.” Knowledge can sometimes be acquired quickly, but understanding always takes time.
I think Rick captures well the reasons for “Why Does It Take So Long?“:
* We are slow learners
* We have a lot to unlearn
* We are afraid to humbly face the truth about ourselves
* Growth is often painful and scary
* Habits take time to develop
I also appreciate his admonition to “Don’t Get in a Hurry“, but rather:
* Believe God is working in your life even when you don’t feel it
* Keep a notebook or journal of lessons learned
* Be patient with God and with yourself
* Don’t get discouraged
Definitely words to remember. I started this blog partly to commemorate the dramatic work that God had done in my life, but also to provide an ongoing record of the work God is continually doing, so that I don’t lose heart or forget. I’ve lived long enough to know that I will surely face addition times of doubt ,and temptations to despair, so these memories are ballast to keep me steady during the inevitable storms of life. I pray it may serve some of you the same way.
Prayer: God, I thank you that you are a master craftsman who delights in producing genuine works of art; not a cheap opportunist who does the minimum needed to provide the superficial semblance of quality. True, it is sometimes hard to be the clay: getting thrown, carved, and fired. Yet looking back, I’m amazed at what you’ve made out of a pile of mud like me. Grant me the grace to pursue a long obedience in the same direction, that I may partake of the richness that only comes from vine-ripened fruit. I ask this in the name of the Vine Himself, Jesus Christ. Amen!